Other bands might have been first, but Trent Reznor is about to blow them all way with NIN's coming iPhone app, which completely enshrines his place as the Highlander of musicians on the internet.
The apps looks like everything that Web 2.0 was promised to be for musicians, wrapped up in an incredibly slick package. The app seamlessly combines streaming music with custom playlists; a Twitter-like social network within Nine Inch Nail's own network (that's location-aware, so you can look up where messages came from in Google Earth on your desktop); fan-submitted images and media from every NIN concert ever (also location tagged); and of course, an iPhone-friendly version of the website within the app.
It sounds a lot like the future of music in a box, if you ask me. The reason he was able to build this, and you don't see something like it coming from the mainstream industry, he says, is that "anyone who's an executive at a record label does not understand what the internet is, how it works, how people use it, how fans and consumers interact - no idea."
The app will be free should go live in the next couple of days after it gets final approval from Apple. They're already working on Version 2.0 for iPhone 3.0, which will include Google Maps integration and Push notification.